Supreme Court disposes of Congress MP Sushmita Dev’s petition as infructuous

Supreme Court disposes of Congress MP Sushmita Dev’s petition as infructuous

Shruti Mahajan

The Supreme Court today disposed of the petition filed by Congress MP Sushmita Dev against Model Code of Conduct violations by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP President Amit Shah as infructuous.

The Bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi with Justice Deepak Gupta was told today by Senior Counsel Rakesh Dwivedi and Advocate Amit Sharma that the Election Commission has decided on the eleven complaints against Prime Minister Modi and Shah.

“These orders have not been challenged”, Dwivedi, who was appearing for the Election Commission, told the Court.

Senior Counsel Abhishek Manu Singhvi, arguing for the petitioner, submitted that these orders were passed without giving any reason for the same.

The Court, however, observed that the additional affidavit filed by the petitioner does not challenge the Election Commission’s orders. As regards the prayers sought by the petitioner in the main petition, the matter stands infructuous, as the Commission has passed its orders.

The petition filed by Dev contends that the Election Commission has been slow to act on multiple complaints concerning  “frequent and habitual violations” of the MCC by Modi and Shah. The slow response of the Commission on these complaints was contended to be a tacit endorsement of Modi’s and Shah’s conduct, in effect giving them a clean chit despite MCC violations.

The Supreme Court had directed the Commission to decide on the complaints by May 6. On that date, after it came to light that the Commission had given a clean chit to Modi and Shah, it was argued in Court that the Commission has not supplied dissent opinions in its decision. The case was then adjourned for May 8.

Meanwhile, Dev filed an additional affidavit in the matter, alleging discrimination and arbitrariness by the Election Commission in favour of Modi and Shah. The affidavit also states that that the Commission acted against various other political leaders for statements which were similar in tone,  tenor, meaning, purport and intention.

Dev has also alluded to the fact that one of the Election Commissioners dissented in these orders and that dissenting opinion has been withheld by the Commission in its orders. This amounts to complete lack of transparency and arbitrariness in the decision-making process when it comes to complaints against Modi and Shah, the affidavit states.

[Read Order]

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